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Te Araroa Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure illustrates the combination of swells directed at Te Araroa through an average January, based on 2620 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Te Araroa, and at Te Araroa the best grid node is 18 km away (11 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 43% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Te Araroa and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Te Araroa, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Te Araroa run for about 57% of the time.

IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.